It seems children, even teenagers, often know very little about money. I know that was true for me. I knew it was important, and I was interested in making some, but I didn’t really know anything. I guess there was one thing I do remember about money. You could tell who had some by what cars they drove, where they lived, and what type of vacations they want on. But that was about it.
Well, I guess there WAS one other thing: the fact that no one seemed to talk about it. Asking how much something cost or how much money someone had were off limits. If you got someone a gift, or received one yourself, the price tag was always removed. God forbid the price be revealed.
What’s most interesting to me, though, about the sheer magnitude of my own ignorance back then was that my childhood and teenage years offered up two economic events that were almost too monumental to miss.
In 2001, when I was 12, the dot-com bubble popped. From peak to trough, the Nasdaq lost 78%. I remember chatting as “RuffRyder112” on AIM and yelling at my grandmother to get off the phone so I could surf the web, but that’s about it. I don’t remember hearing a word about venture capital, IPOs, or a stock market run up. I’m not even sure I knew what the stock market was at that point. Perhaps having an event like 9/11 in 2001 was enough for my young mind, so everything else seems hazy in comparison.
Then we had the collapse of the subprime mortgage market in 2007 which led to the great recession. And again, I was none the wiser. I didn’t know anything about mortgages or the housing market. It wasn’t until finance classes in college until I understood the magnitude and significance of that historical moment.
So why am I point out these 2 events and more generally calling attention to my youthful ignorance?
It seems to me that the basics of business and personal finance should be a foundational component of education far before you reach college. But if money, and other similar taboo subjects, must remain so, perhaps Vectr can be a conduit for the free exchange of useful information and offer up an environment where all questions are welcome.
-Jeremy & Jake